Centre for Political Courage (CPC)
The Centre for Political Courage (CPC) was founded with the purpose of creating a setting for dialogue between academics, policy makers, and other public actors on some of the most pressing societal and policy questions in Kosovo and the wider region, with a particular focus on issues related to higher education and research promotion. CPC conducts applied research, advocates for transparent and democratic decision-making processes, and builds capacities for both governmental and non-governmental institutions. CPC offers research based information as a contribution toward improved institutional and public life. Moreover, CPC serves as platform for scholars willing to engage in research, education and promoting civic activism. CPC is an independent, non-for-profit and non-partisan policy research organization established in accordance with Kosovar legislation.
CPC was founded by a network of professors, researchers, and scholars affiliated with the University of Pristina, and is supported by a skilled and experienced management staff. Currently, CPC has 3 full time and 2 part time staff members. In addition, a dozen of Kosovar and international scholars and researchers are affiliated with the CPC. CPC has implemented several projects and conducted activities jointly with other local, regional and international think tanks, universities as well as with decision-making institutions such as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Assembly of Kosovo. Since 2009, CPC has acted as the Local Coordination Unit in Kosovo of the Regional Research Promotion Programme Western Balkans (RRPP). In this capacity, CPC monitors the research projects supported by RRPP and organizes regional trainings on research methods and international conferences. Moreover, in 2012 CPC took the “Policy Dialogue Initiative”, through which it has organized several international conferences on research-related policy issues, including “The Role of Social Sciences in Transitional Societies with Particular Focus on Kosovo” and on “Research and Development in Kosovo in the light of the EU integration perspective: Quo Vadis?”. CPC has also organized roundtables on the government strategy for research as well as state of research at the University of Pristina and at Kosovo think tanks. Furthermore, CPC has also established a social science web-forum. The web-forum broadcasts updates on activities related to the social sciences and humanities. Within this web-forum, all stakeholders are encouraged to upload announcements relevant to science. The site also disseminates information on call for applications for MA and PhD studies, and other calls on social science projects.
Nitë Bylykbashi-Deliu is an MA candidate at the Department of Management and Informatics, University of Prishtina. Nitë is a project manager at the Centre for Political Courage (CPC). She has successfully implemented numerous social science projects. Nitë is engaged in organizing, budgeting and implementing the CPC projects. Moreover, she is the local coordinator in Kosovo of the Regional Research Promotion Program Western Balkans (RRPP). As part of her university courses, Nitë attended courses on research methods and quantitative research. Nitë has also participated in the regional trainings “Qualitative Interviewing and Focus Groups” and “Theory and Practice of Sampling in Social Sciences”.
Lirika Demiri received a BA in Sociology from the University of Prishtina. She is engaged at the Centre for Political Courage (CPC) as a researcher within the Regional Research Promotion Programe, National Policy Dialogue initiative in Kosovo. Previously she was an intern at the Council of Europe, responsible for following and coordinating an impact assessment project entitled “Assessing Values: Cultural Heritage and Inhabitants – A top-down research methodology in action”. In addition, Lirika has experience as a fieldwork interviewer for the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted by the Kosovar Agency of Statistics and UNICEF.
Arben Hajrullahu PhD is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pristina. He studied Political Science, South East European History, Comparative Public Law, Public and Communications Sciences and German at the Universities of Pristina, Graz, Vienna, and Huddersfield. He has researched and published extensively on the Western Balkans. His PhD thesis on EU-Integration and Sustainable Peace-Building in the Western Balkans won the Dr. Alois Mock Europe Foundation Award in 2005. He has worked as a freelance scientific collaborator at the Centre for Southeast European Studies since 2001. He was a scientific member of the Austrian Institute for International Affairs in Vienna and has acted as a freelance senior researcher at the European Academy of Bolzano. In addition, he was a Humphrey Fulbright Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He also worked as a senior adviser at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Mission in Kosovo. In 2005 he became an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Prishtina and in 2010 was promoted to associate professor. Arben teaches several BA and MA courses at the Department of Political Science and he serves as Executive Director of the CPC.
Pëllumb Kelmendi MPhil is a member of the Center for Political Courage and a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Brown University. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge. Pellumb has worked as a researcher at the University of Cambridge and a consultant for the UNDP and has taught at Brown and Pristina Universities. He was part of the research team that published an edited volume on Civil Society in Kosovo Since 1999, funded by the Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans. Pellumb’s research employs both qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis.